Secret Box in a Book

Although I don’t exactly have a lot of treasure in my house (I couldn’t find a bill worth more than a dollar!) I’ve been wanting to make one of these for a while. The hardest part was to find a book I would be able to sacrifice — as a bibliophile I find it painful to maim even the worst, unreadable, out of date volumes. I thought I hit the jackpot with this 1951 textbook of Cortina’s Russian Conversaphone, a method for teaching Russian by replacing classes or teachers with (long lost) vinyl records. Nobody could possibly ever want to read this book.

I clamped the pages and started cutting with my dremel tool. I also used a box cutter and scissors to even out some of the edges. It was easy work, but I was reminded of how long it used to take me to change my rabbit’s cage. I kept on getting drawn into the month-old newspaper articles I stuffed under his hay. Here little phases kept catching my eyes:

“Do you own your house? I bought my own house,” Americans were being taught to say in russian, in 1951. So, because of the draw of the printed words my progress was slow, still I managed to hollow out a nice little bill-sized rectangle. I sealed the inside of the cavity with white glue to create a nice snug, safe hiding spot.

Now I’m thinking of other applications: a carrying case for a kindle. A bedside table box. A music box. A bootleg liquor holder. A diary with a built-in camera which will snap a photo of any intruder when the cover is opened, then email you the photo via wi-fi…. but I know I’ll never be able to find books I can gut.

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